Shawn P. Wolf

Area of Focus: Tax, Private Wealth Services
"Shawn has a great technical ability and knowledge. He is an expert in the area of foreign taxation." - Chambers USA source
Shawn P. Wolf

Sought out for his reputation as a cultivator of strong, long-term client relationships, Shawn counsels foreign and domestic high net worth individuals, families and closely-held companies wherever they need international and domestic tax, estate planning, and pre-immigration and expatriation planning and strategies. Many of his clients are multi-generational in nature, spanning decades of private wealth planning needs. His Florida Bar Board Certification in Tax Law represents one of the most distinguished markers of expertise among practitioners in the private wealth planning field. 

Among the areas of his practice for which he is most approached are matters involving the application of U.S. Federal income tax rules to U.S. taxpayers conducting business abroad or moving abroad, foreign nationals investing in or moving to the United States, and the utilization of foreign and domestic trusts in strategies related to such matters. For 25 years, Shawn has also assisted hundreds of clients in coming into compliance with U.S. tax filing requirements, particularly international clients with complex situations involving multiple jurisdictions, in addition to counseling them on the minimization of applicable penalties. Finally, Shawn also assists clients in forming and operating domestic and offshore businesses, including corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies. 

An active member of the Florida Bar Tax Section, he has served as Co-Director of the Long Range Planning Division, Co-Director of the Federal Tax Division, Co-Director of the Section Administration Division, as a Director-at-Large and as Chair of the Outbound Tax Committee. Currently, he is serving as Chair of the Florida Bar Tax Section (2023 – 2024).

Q & A
What is a common misconception in private wealth planning that you commonly address?
All too often a potential client will come to me with the notion that setting up an offshore entity means paying no taxes, which is not necessarily true. One of the important truisms of tax and estate planning that I coach my clients on is that there is no such thing as simple "black and white" answers or scenarios. An integral part of my practice is giving my clients clarity on the best way forward with regard to their planning needs, which requires revealing and shedding light on the nuances and trade-offs of different scenarios. This way, they advance towards their goals with a well-grounded understanding of a complicated field rather than shallow and misconstrued perceptions.
How would others describe the unique value you bring to clients?
I have been told by many of my colleagues and clients that one of the unique skills sets I have is the ability to deconstruct highly complex tax concepts and share them with others in a way that is clear, concise, and digestible. Many years ago I had a mentor who told me that the key test of "knowing your stuff" as a client-facing attorney is how well you can explain that stuff to your grandmother. I continue to live by that mantra, whether it is when dealing with clients, presenting topics to financial advisors, or teaching law students and accounting majors in my adjunct professor capacity.
  • University of Miami, J.D., Masters of Law in Taxation (with International Tax Certificate) , 1997
    University of Pittsburgh, J.D., 1996
    University of Miami, B.B.A., Business Law and International Finance & Marketing, 1993
  • American College of Tax Counsel
    Florida International University
    Adjunct Professor, International Taxation Issues, 2011 - 2018
    Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)
    Adjunct Professor, International Tax, ITAM and Duke University
    Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
    Florida Gulf Coast University
    Adjunct Professor, International Tax Issues, 2003 - 2005
    University of Miami
    School of Law, Tax LLM Program, Guest Lecturer, 2013 - 2016
    The Florida Bar

    Tax Section, Chair, 2023 - 2024
    Tax Section, Tax Certification Committee, Member, 2022 - 2024
    Tax Section, Chair-Elect, 2022-2023
    Florida Bar/FICPA International Tax Conference, Chair, 2012 - 2016
    Florida Bar/FICPA International Tax Conference, Vice-Chair, 2011
    Tax Section, Member (various leadership positions held since 2005)

    Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants
    International Tax Committee, Member, 2016 - present
  • Florida
  • Band 2, Chambers USA, Tax, 2021 - present

    The Best Lawyers in America, Tax Law, 2011- present

    Florida Institute of CPAs, Outstanding Discussion Leader, 2010

    Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2009

    Florida Super Lawyers, 2017 - present

    Florida Trend, Florida Legal Elite